Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking to turn a decent gadget into one that makes the corners of your mouth curl up in a grin every time it’s pulled out and powered up.

That’s exactly what happened with the Logitech Wireless Boombox for iPad ($150), a portable six-speakered dock based off Logitech’s S715i dock, which we reviewed earlier this year.

Logitech made two key changes to their most powerful portable speaker: they got rid of the remote; and more importantly, dropped the physical iPhone dock in favor of Bluetooth capability. Smart.

The Good:

Hey, who needs a 30-pin connection anyway — it’s all about streaming now. The S715i required my iPhone/iPod to sit motionless in its 30-pin slot. But the Boombox’s Bluetooth connection untethered my iPhone from the box, allowing me to control the party from my iPod App (now the Music App in iOS 5), like Steve intended, rather than with the practically useless, rinky-dink remote the S715i came with. Also, the new Bluetooth capability allowed me to connect with my iPad — which I prefer to use as a DJ over my iPhone (feel free to disagree with me).

The dock paired with my iPad 2 easily enough — but what was impressive was the knack the Boombox’s had for quickly latching on to my iPad’s Bluetooth signal when I punched the dock’s power button.

The Boombox is one handsome gadget. There’re no weird design antics going on here — just a clean, uncluttered, swoopy shape that doesn’t try to make a fashion statement.

It’s also a shockingly amicable travel companion — just short and thin enough to tuck into an overnight bag. In fact, my eyebrows were constantly shooting up in surprise at the ability of the Boombox to fit into all sorts of bags.

The rechargeable battery held enough juice for about 5.5 hours of music before fading — not bad for a dock this size, especially one with a Bluetooth power drain to deal with.

Everything about the Boombox’s design is simple and clean. Just four buttons — power, Bluetooth and a pair of volume controls — populate the unit’s control center; a pair of LEDs clearly convey battery and Bluetooth connection status.

Two other minor upgrades from its predecessor: The Boombox has a sealed power/aux port, making it a little more expedition-capable, and the retractable kickstand at the back that props the dock up is now spring-loaded and extends with the press of a button.

The Bad:

Except for the method used to connect to an iDevice and the resulting cosmetic changes, the Boombox is the same dock as the S715i, and uses the same six speakers. this means the Boombox has the same shortcoming as the S715i — namely, a lack of bass oomph. And maybe because music with the Boombox is streamed via a Bluetooth connection instead of flowing through a 30-pin, the highs weren’t quite as crisp as they were on the S715i.

That doesn’t mean the Boombox is all convenience and no performance; in fact, the dock sounds pretty good — and it’s just the right package for going from hotel room, to home office, to bedroom, to campfire and back. But like the S715i, bass tends to overload its smallish speakers at higher volumes, so it won’t light up a party. Perhaps it shouldn’t be expected to, but the asking price for this travelling dock is just a wee bit steep to push its rating any higher.

Verdict:

Logitech has found the sweet-spot with this versatile, easy-everything dock; a perfect traveller’s companion.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

Logitech Wireless Boombox For iPad: Bluetooth Turns ‘Meh’ Into ‘Yeah!’ [Review]

  • JohnJohnJ

    Poor bass. Poor highs. Speakers too close together. Poor design…period. Overpriced. Quite typical of Logitech.

  • Hyattsvilledogs

    What could you use with macbookair or Droid so you can hear music while driving?

  • NewPharo

    Other Logitech’s in pipeline including the Amazing Mini Boombox Speaker & Speaker phone with back-lit touch screen, pre-order on logitech site (watch clip, love it)

    also on Amazon Logitech Air Speaker 1st from Logi…with Apple Airplay tech., if you needed it for parties but top $400 (not yet officially announced)

  • NewPharo

    the bass is relevant to size, so when compared to home based speaker, bass is not great, but to similar form factor, it would be great.

    Logitech one of top Quality brands and i have been trusting them for 30 Years, a true swiss quality brand

  • doro86

    Logitech is simply awesome in making iPad accessories

  • RalGuy

    Put the speaker in a corner and be amazed at the 500% increase in base.

  • Guest

    it’s ugly.

  • Stanford Griffith

    I’m confused. Your review indicates that the system has six speakers, but Logitech claims it has eight: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/…. Can you please tell me if that’s a mistake on your part or if Logitech is doing some funny math?

    Also, will this pair with a Mac running Lion so I could play directly from iTunes as well? Logitech goes back and forth in their on materials as to whether it will or not.

    Thank you.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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